Twitter will be in trouble if it fails to comply with India rules: HC
In a major setback for Twitter in India, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday pulled up the micro-blogging site for failing to appoint resident grievance officer (RGO), saying, “How long will your process take place? This cannot be allowed”, even as the court free pass to the central government to act against the social media firm.
A bench of Justice Rekha Palli told Twitter’s counsel, “Come up with a clear response, otherwise you will be in trouble”, and sought information on Twitter’s compliance with other provisions of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021) by the next date of hearing.
The high court told central government counsel: “We are not stopping you from taking action, court has not granted any protection to Twitter. If they are in violation, you know what to do.”
The Centre submitted that Twitter India is in clear violation of IT Rules, 2021.
The Centre had informed the Delhi High Court that Twitter has failed to comply with the IT Rules, 2021 as on July 1, on four counts:
Chief compliance officer not being appointed.
The position of the resident grievance officer being vacant;
The position of the nodal contact person (even on an interim basis) being vacant; and
The physical contact address, which was shown to be there on May 29, was not available on Twitter’s website.
The central government counsel submitted before the court that Twitter was given three-month window to comply with IT Rules, but they did not.
The counsel added that they are most welcome to do business in India, but they have to comply.
The bench said, “I am not giving them any protection. I have already made it clear that they have to comply.”